Picks and Pans Review: Critic's Corner

updated 03/02/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/02/1992 01:00AM

>A TALE OF TWO CARTOONS

PRIME TIME IS LOOKING MORE ANIMATED THESE days—literally. Merely for the fun of playing Name That Celebrity Voice. CBS's new cartoon series, Fish Police (Fridays, 8:30 P.M. ET), has it all over ABC's Capitol Critters (Saturdays, 8 P.M. ET). After all, Fish boasts John Ritter, Ed Asner, Robert Guillaume, JoBeth Williams, Buddy Hackett and many others speaking for its cartoon characters each week. With Critters you get only Neil Patrick Harris, Dorian Harewood and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait.

Fish's underwater play on the hard-boiled detective genre is the funnier, better drawn of the two. But that's not saying much. Capitol Critters, the story of rats and mice living in the wallboards of the White House, can't decide if it's a bang-zoom kiddie comedy or a grown-up allegory about politics, racism and other issues. The result is a terribly tepid mess. Fish Grade: C+ Critters: D

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